Information and communication
A telecentre is a common point of access to communication tools for multiple users, providing a range of services including internet, fax, word processing, and applications such as distance education.
The community telecentre is one approach to quick dissemination of information using ICT (information and communication technology) and reducing the digital divide.
Telecentres have been introduced in different communities in different ways. There are small private sector telecentres as well as bigger, donor-funded telecentres. The basic requirements to start a telecentre are computer terminals, fax, telephone and simple furniture such as desks, tables and chairs. It is easy to install and administer, provided there are no connection problems. Insufficient bandwidth of the telecommunication connectivity for running Internet is the main challenge in rural area for smooth operation of a telecentre.
InfoDes - providing online access in rural Peru
A frequent user of a telecentre facility is 28-year-old Bernado Paredes. He uses it to search out markets and customers for his equipment business. He believes InfoDes "shows how the information potential of the Internet can really improve our livelihoods".
As most Cajamarcans live in far flung rural communities remote rural access points have been linked to the centre, and a mobile information unit with video links and internet access tours villages to introduce the service.
It is through this unit that Consuela Mosquera, and many others like her, have got their first taste of modern ICTs and discovered how they can be used to improve their livelihoods. And this is just the start.
Practical Action is also introducing new local radio services for development in Cajamarca and a second ICT project in Zimbabwe. So in the not too distant future more and more people like Consuela and Bernado will be able to access the information superhighway and discover new ways to improve their livelihoods.
Please support us on this project and others like it. It is your help that enables us to change lives for the long term, significantly for the better. Share this page with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Thank you.
To solve any problem, people need knowledge. The knowledge is there somewhere, described in some way, but it is often unavailable to those who need it most.